Creating Compliance In Your Clients Even When It’s Hard To Come By

by | May 20, 2021

Whether you are a new dietitian nutrition coach or a veteran dietitian nutrition coach, something we all can agree on is that creating compliance in our coaching clients can be a challenge at times. It might seem as if your client is smooth sailing one week, but then on a bumpy road the next week. So the question is, “How do we go about creating compliance in our clients in times when it’s hard to come by?” That is the question that we’ll delve into today in this article. However, before we get into the bulk of it, first allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Tony Stephan and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. However before I became a dietitian business coach, I was an RD nutrition coach (just like you). I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now allow me to share with you how to create compliance in your clients even when it seems hard to come by.

Why Creating Compliance Isn’t A Simple Task

As RDs and RD2BEs, going through the dietetics curriculum has taught us a lot of things. However, most of what we learn is geared towards a clinical setting. This means that most of what we learn is based around a one-time interaction or a number of short-term interactions with clients. So as RDs, most of us are not taught right out of school how to go about creating compliance in our clients for long-term success. In addition to that, creating compliance can be challenging as there are multiple factors to take into consideration to ensure your client’s success. So in this article, we are going to give you some tips to help you further create compliance in your clients.

How Can You Create Compliance?

As outlined above, creating compliance in your client is no easy feat. However, the good news is that it isn’t an impossible feat! So let’s dive into the tips that will help you create compliance and help your clients succeed.

Keep It Simple

As nutrition professionals, we are a wealth of knowledge and that is a great thing! After all, your clients hired you because of your expertise. However, there is one aspect to be cautious of when you are in your educator role as a dietitian. One thing that can quickly stall your clients’ success is “anxiety of overwhelm”. “Anxiety of overwhelm” is when someone becomes anxious from receiving too much nutrition information all at once. Believe it or not, this is a common mishap many newbie RDs make. Right after getting out of school, of course, we have so much neat stuff to share with the world and we can’t wait to share it! So when you have your first coaching client, it’s tempting to tell them everything they need to know about managing their health condition (all at once). 

Now we’ll go over why you shouldn’t give too much information all at once and what you can do instead to create compliance in your clients and help them succeed.

When you share too much information all at once, it causes overwhelm which actually reduces your chances of client compliance. Once you start reducing overwhelm, that is where your clients can start gaining traction. In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our dietitian nutrition coaches to keep it simple with their clients who are low compliance. When you are able to simplify things for your lower compliance clients, it helps them better comply so they can better succeed in their goals!

Coach Instead Of Command

Back to what we learn in the dietetics curriculum, much of what we learn is how to command patients in a clinical setting. However, in order to create compliance in a client long term, you must be able to coach a client. Effective coaching goes beyond teaching to the logical brain. With coaching, you are taking into consideration the client’s emotions, their worldview perception, and multiple factors beyond nutrition alone. 

Most of the time, our clients know in general what they need to be doing to reach their goals. It’s compliance that most of our clients struggle with. So if you want to coach your clients to success, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Work as a teamIt will be very hard to maintain compliance if you only command your clients. When you work as a team, it’s no longer “I’m telling you what to do”. Instead, it becomes a “We are in this together”!
  2. Don’t only talk nutrition: Compliance in your nutrition coaching clients goes far beyond nutrition alone, so nutrition shouldn’t be the only thing you talk about with your client. Take into consideration emotional factors, environmental factors, and their worldviews.
  3. Show them you care: You’ve heard me say this before, but I’ll say it again and again. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care! If you want to see your client succeed, you must have a connection with them and show them that you’re there for them.

What Worked For One Person May Not Work For Another

As you coach more and more clients, you will come to work with a great variety of people. Working with a variety of clients is a great thing. However, it’s important to note that no two clients are the same! On top of that, everyone views the world differently. So each client will need a tailored approach. The beauty of dietitian nutrition coaching is that you can personalize your program to the client’s individual needs. One client may have had great success with macro-based coaching whereas another client may have not seen progress until they started a behavioral coaching approach. 

We go much deeper into this in our Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, but the ultimate takeaway here is that the same approach that worked for one client may not work for another client. So it’s important to evaluate and take into consideration what approach would best help them achieve their goals.

Bottom Line In Creating Compliance In Your Clients

As already mentioned, creating compliance in your clients is no simple task. It requires a great deal of thought and consideration as to what would be best for your client. However keeping it simple, coaching over commanding, and tailoring your approach can go a long way in helping your client succeed in their health and fitness goals. 

Want to learn more about starting your own nutrition business and creating compliance in your own coaching clients? If so, you’re in the right place! I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to set their dietitian nutrition coaching business up for success so that they can make more IMPACT and more INCOME.

Check out our FREE resources below to get started.



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